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Official: Roma Signs Gonzalo Villar from Elche

Villar will add depth and potential to a thin Roma midfield.

SOCCER: SEP 13 Copa del Rey - Granada at Elche Photo by Carlos Sanchez Martinez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With a glut of injuries striking Roma this season, Gianluca Petrachi had to bring depth to a depleted squad, while also working on a shoestring budget. Hence the way in which he has reinforced some of Roma’s areas of need during the January mercato, including the midfield.

With only Jordan Veretout and Bryan Cristante currently fit in the center of the park and the length of Amadou Diawara’s absence still up in the air, Petrachi felt the need to bring in some help. Names like Rolando Mandragora were linked with i Lupi, but Roma didn’t opt to land such an established name. Instead, Petrachi looked abroad to Spain and picked up a lesser known quantity—Gonzalo Villar, formerly of Elche

The 21-year-old Gonzalo Villar arrives on a permanent deal for a fee of €4 million with the potential for another €1 million in bonuses. Meanwhile, the player has signed a four and a half year deal with Roma.

The fee itself could end up being smart business if Villar pans out. However, it remains to be seen just how quickly Villar can adjust to life in Serie A. Elche, after all, plies its trade in the Spanish Segunda division. So, this is the equivalent of Roma signing a player from Serie B, but one who isn’t familiar with the culture or language. Something that could be interesting if Villar is forced into action shortly after his signing.

Roma expressed its delight with the signing.

“We are really pleased to be able to bring Gonzalo to Trigoria,” said club chief executive Guido Fienga.

“Gonzalo is exactly the sort of central midfielder we have been looking to add to our squad: he’s young, he’s talented and has great ambition to succeed.”

Meanwhile, Villar himself is ready for the challenge of life at Roma.

“I’m joining a great club and I couldn’t be happier,” Villar said.

“It’s a great challenge for me, I can’t wait to show what I am capable of.”

Now, it’ll be up to Paulo Fonseca to get the most out of the talented youngster.